A council campaign to establish one of the UK’s first dementia friendly boroughs has received a pat on the back from the Government.
A Ribble Valley Borough Council campaign to establish the borough as a centre of excellence in dementia awareness has been cited in the Government’s Accessible Britain Challenge Awards 2015.
The awards encourage communities to remove the barriers that prevent disabled people from participating fully in community life.
Ribble Valley Borough Council joined forces with the Alzheimer’s Society and several businesses, community groups and public and private sector organisations to establish the area as a centre of excellence in dementia awareness.
More than 500 people attended a series of dementia awareness seminars and a network of “dementia friends” and dementia-friendly places was established. Staff at Ribble Valley Borough Council also received training in dementia awareness, including how to deal with sufferers and signpost their families to help and support.
And the council joined forces with Clitheroe solicitors Chenery Maher to launch an identity capsule scheme for people with dementia. The capsules, containing crucial information on the bearer, including the contact details of carers or next of kin, were made available free-of-charge to people with dementia and their families.
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans said: “The aim of the awards is to motivate communities to do more to be inclusive and accessible to disabled people, and showcase great examples that others can learn from.
“Nominations for the awards were made by disabled people or disabled people’s organisations that had benefitted from local projects, initiatives, services or social activities.
“The standard of nominations for the awards was very high and, although Ribble Valley Borough Council did not win, to be short listed was a great achievement and the council is to be commended for its excellent work in the field of dementia awareness.”
The council was nominated for the award by Peter Anwyl, of Ribble Valley Crossroads Care, who said: “As a long-term carer for my wife who had Alzheimer’s disease and in my capacity as a trustee of Ribble Valley Crossroads Care, I know only too well how challenging and distressing living with and caring for someone with dementia can be.
“Ribble Valley Borough Council has made significant progress towards establishing a caring and understanding community to help ease the lives of people with dementia and it is vital that the community does as much as it can to drive this initiative forward, and show respect and care to those with dementia wherever possible.”
Ribble Valley Borough Council partnership officer Dilys Day added: “We are delighted that our work in dementia awareness has been recognised and to have been short listed in this prestigious awards scheme is a fabulous accolade for everyone involved.
“We will be continuing our efforts over the coming months and years to ensure that Ribble Valley remains one of the country’s foremost dementia-friendly boroughs.”
The council has received a certificate and letter of commendation from the Accessible Britain Challenge Awards.
Dilys Day and Peter Anwyl. (s)